Fuzzy logic control of an automated guided vehicle
This thesis describes the fuzzy logic based control system for an automated guided vehicle ( AGV ) designed to navigate from one position and orientation to another while avoiding obstacles. A vehicle with an onboard computer system and a beacon based location system has been used to provide experimental confirmation of the methods proposed during this research. A simulation package has been written and used to test control techniques designed for the vehicle. A series of navigation rules based upon the vehicle's current position relative to its goal produce a fuzzy fit vector, the entries in which represent the relative importance of sets defined over all the possible output steering angles. This fuzzy fit vector is operated on by a new technique called rule spreading which ensures that all possible outputs have some activation. An obstacle avoidance controller operates from information about obstacles near to the vehicle. A method has been devised for generating obstacle avoidance sets depending on the size, shape and steering mechanism of a vehicle to enable their definition to accurately reflect the geometry and dynamic performance of the vehicle. Using a set of inhibitive rules the obstacle avoidance system compiles a mask vector which indicates the potential for a collision if each one of the possible output sets is chosen. The fuzzy fit vector is multiplied with the mask vector to produce a combined fit vector representing the relative importance of the output sets considering the demands of both navigation and obstacle avoidance. This is operated on by a newly developed windowing technique which prevents any conflicts produced by this combination leading to an undesirable output. The final fit vector is then defuzzified to give a demand steering angle for the vehicle. A separate fuzzy controller produces a demand velocity. In tests carried out in simulation and on the research vehicle it has been shown that the control system provides a successful guidance and obstacle avoidance scheme for an automated vehicle.